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September 2, 2020

2020 U.S. Soybean Condition Declines 3%, 8% Dropping Leaves

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

The 2020 U.S. soybean yield was lowered 1 bushel this week to 51.0 bu/ac and I have a lower bias going forward.

The 2020 U.S. soybean condition declined 3% last week to 66% rated good to excellent. The soybeans are 95% setting pods compared to 84% last year and 93% average. The soybeans are 8% dropping leaves compared to 3% last year and 8% average.

The percent of the soybeans dropping leaves 8% compared to 4% the prior week. When soybeans get this close to the end of their growth cycle, if they endure record high temperatures and significant moisture stress, the plants just decide to save what they have and go onto maturity instead of setting more pods at the top of the plant or even trying to fill the existing pods at the top of the plant. If the moisture stress is severe enough, the size of the existing seeds may also end up being smaller than average.

Top soybean yields are generally achieved when the plant has ample moisture and plenty of time to fill the pods. Top yields are generally not achieved when the crop quickly shuts down at the end of August.

The recent rains were disappointing and now most of the rain in the forecast will fall across the northern areas and far southern areas with limited amounts across the dry areas of the central Corn Belt from Nebraska across most of Iowa and into northern Illinois and northern Indiana. In many of the dryer areas, the rainfall during the month of August was only about 25% of normal. Temperatures this week will be seasonal, with cooler temperatures next week.